Ganguly the captain came to Zimbabwe carrying the hurt from home, where his finest moment as skipper against the all-conquering Australians was tarred by his own personal form. But, as Ashish Shukla found, with just 14 runs from the three Test innings, the spectre of poor form continues to haunt Ganguly the batsman. Excerpts:
Does your poor run worry you?
No. It happens in every batsman's career. This is the first time my form has deserted me this way in the five years that I've been around. I knew that a 50 from me on the last day of the Harare Test would have fetched us our first away-series win in 15 years. I just couldn't. That makes me sad. But I know the runs will soon come.
How upset are you at this loss?
I'm not upset that I haven't scored runs. I'm really hurt and down because those 40-50 runs would have won the series for us. That's a disgusting feeling.
Is captaincy affecting your batting?
No. I've been a captain for one-and-a-half years and my poor run started 3-4 months back. If captaincy was the problem, it should have happened long time back.
Are you in favour of different teams for the Tests and one-dayers?
I don't believe so. If you go through the records, you'll find that all good Test players are good one-day players also. Sachin, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Gary Kirsten, Mark Waugh, Saeed Anwar, Brian Lara, myself—we are all successful players at both levels.
Are you satisfied with the team's performance?
We've started to do well but we're losing crunch games. Here, though we drew the series, in my eyes, it is as good as lost. But this team has done better than a few teams in the past. In the future, we would be a very strong side.
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